Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson don’t know anything that the rest of Washington, D.C., doesn’t. They are just willing to say it publicly.
The chairmen of President Obama’s deficit-reduction commission released a draft proposal last week aimed at provoking debate over how to reduce the red ink produced by federal budgets.
The bipartisan duo – one a former White House chief of staff for President Clinton and the other a former Republican Senate leader – said they wanted to give Americans something to chew on.
What they served up was promptly spat out by the politicians who will have to act on the deficit commission’s final recommendations, which are due Dec. 1.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed the Bowles-Simpson outline “simply unacceptable.” Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), a deficit panel member, said “there are things in there that I hate like the devil hates holy water.”
Republican reaction was less exaggerated, although just as ominous. Michigan Rep. David Camp, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said tax increases – which are one-fourth of the plan – are off the table.
Meanwhile, the conservative Americans for Tax Reform warned members of Congress that supporting the proposal would violate the group’s no-new -taxes pledge.
To read the complete editorial, visit www.thenewstribune.com.